Archive of ‘Lettering’ category

Monogram of the Month

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Don’t you love June? The early days of June sweep in thoughts of sunny skies, blue waters and light breezes. When I spotted the Scrollwork Alphabet #12511 from, I couldn’t help but think of ways to use this swirling fresh alphabet. Wouldn’t it look great on a porch pillow, beach tote or picnic table linens? I opted to stitch it on a traditional kitchen towel.

But why HQ? Why not? The poor letter Q – it hardly ever gets stitched on fabric, it just sits in the digital collection waiting for Mrs. Quinn to stop by and download it. I might not be a Quinn but I do have a headquarters. My kitchen is the heart of my home – headquarters for all kinds of activity.  I thought it would be fun to display the HQ towel and see how many people ask, “Whose initials are HQ?”

Actually, if I know my gang, they won’t even ask, they’ll just assume it’s another of my embroidery blunders!

In all seriousness, the letter Q has an overlooked detail – that of a descender. When working with initials that include descenders (elements that fall below the text baseline) such as the letter Q, pay attention to the size of the letters as the body of the Q may be smaller than other initials.  Open Scrollwork Alphabet HQ in BERNINA Embroidery Software DesignerPlus or other embroidery editing software.  Notice how the Q does not sit on the same baseline as the H.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery BlogSelect the Q and increase the size so that the body is the same height as the other letter. For my use, it doesn’t matter where the tail of the Q will land, I’m just stitching one line on a towel but that’s not always the case in other applications.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

If another line of text or a frame was below the monogram, then take the beard line into consideration. The beard line is the tip of the descender.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Next, focus on the space between the two letters.  Since some scrolls extend beyond the actual letters, consider linking the letters through the scrolls.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Zoom in to get a clear picture of the connection.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Now, rotate the design to fit in the hoop and stitch the design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

June….it’s never been prettier!

Here’s your assignment this week:
If you owned the Scrollwork Alphabet from EmbroideryOnline, where would you stitch the designs?  What thread colors would you use?  One comment will be randomly selected and will win a copy of Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons.


The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:What is your favorite go-to gift? One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on the DIME website. Thanks for reading and good luck!The winner is:  Donna G.
Kitchen and bath towels are the go-to gift I use most often but I like the idea of personalized napkins!  


Multi-Needle Monday: My Go-To Gift


Last week, I showed how to stitch multiple napkins in on a single-needle machine. Today, let’s look at how to do it on a multi-needle machine.

The set-up is the same: Mark the location of the corner monogram on each of the six napkins. I use the Napkin On-Point template from the Perfect Placement Kit – no math, no measuring. Just place the template on the napkin aligning the guides with the stitched hem and then insert a target sticker into the hole with the arrow pointing towards the body of the napkin. Repeat for all six napkins – you’ll finish this task in under two minutes.

Select the largest hoop available and hoop tear-away stabilizer. I selected the 8” x 12” standard hoop but Multi-Needle Monster would also work very well. Use one of three options for holding the napkin on the stabilizer: spray the hooped stabilizer with temporary adhesive, hoop adhesive tear-away stabilizer or use painter’s tape. I used adhesive tear-away stabilizer.

Position the first napkin in the bottom left corner of the hoop. Center the needle over the target sticker, remove the sticker and embroider the design. If your machine has a baste feature, use it! Move the design to the top left corner of the hoop. Fold the napkin out of the new sewing field and lay the second napkin in place. Smooth the napkin onto the adhesive stabilizer. Stitch the design. Nap1

Fold up both napkin tips and tape them down. Nap2

Place the third napkin below the second napkin. Smooth in place making sure the design area is not overlapped with the second napkin. Position the needle over the target sticker. Nap3

If your machine has a trace feature, use it to verify the needle will not stitch on the first napkin. Once you’re confident the first napkin is out of the sewing field, remove the sticker and embroider the design. Nap4

Fold and tape the side of the napkin and move the design just below the third napkin. Nap5

Stitch the napkin. Nap6

Tape the corners of napkins three and four. Nap7

Repeat the process for napkin five. Nap8

And napkin six. Nap9

Remove the stabilizer from the hoop and clip the basting stitches before tearing away the stabilizer. Nap10

Wow –six napkins in a flash!

Has this ever happened to you? (Part 3)

By Denise Holguin

What a productive day I had planned! I created a fun embroidery project using the new Calligraphy Project Designer Software program. Plus, I unearthed a secret stash of fabric and thread. I grabbed my trusty Snap Hoop Monster, some polymesh stabilizer and some spray adhesive. It’s time to start stitching!

Rather than trim the large piece of fabric, I decided to hoop it all and just trim later. Besides, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll make with the stitch out.

After loading the Snap Hoop Monster on the machine, I pressed the magic “Go” button and left the embroidery studio to let the machine do all the work.

But the machine kept beeping for attention. I had to babysit it every few minutes.

I wasn’t overly thrilled with my thread color choices so I decided to abort the mission. I removed the hoop and as I was carrying it to Eileen’s office to ask “WHAT WENT WRONG?” I noticed the back of the hoop.

Oops! I accidentally hooped the excess fabric to the back of the hoop, created a double layer of fabric. No wonder the embroidery machine kept beeping!

I didn’t give up on stitching the design—especially given the quotation! I did change thread colors and am happy with the results.

Here’s your assignment this week:

We’ve showed you plenty of mistakes we’ve made in the past few weeks and asked you to share your stories as well. Now we’d like to know the funniest mistake you’ve ever made! We’ll choose one random comment below to receive a $25 gift certificate to use on the DIME website. Thank you for sharing your stories with us in our Has This Ever Happened to You series.


The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Finding creative solutions to mistakes isn’t limited to machine embroidery! Tell us about a time you had to solve a problem and the end result turned out better than expected. Maybe while sewing…cooking…baking or ? We want to know! One random comment will be chosen as the winner of a $25 gift certificate to website. Someone will get paid for making a mistake and recovering from it! Not a bad deal!


And the winner is…Denise “I had made a dress for my 12 soon to be 13 yr. old daughter . The cap sleeves were curling up slightly and needed just a little something extra. My daughter likes dresses but usually does not like frou frou styles so I was hesitant to put lace on it. That was just the extra weight that was needed! I had just enough lace with flowers to go on the / under the sleeves. It looks great and she is happy with it also ! Denise!”

A Mended Heart


By Denise Holguin, Managing Editor

I found the perfect quote to stitch from one of my favorite authors—Jane Austen. Using the Calligraphy Project Designer, I typed the text, selected the Jester Pro font and created a heart shaped path. Lots of fun! Then I added the decorative embroidery element in the center. Everything was going smooth! The stitching was a snap since I used Snap Hoop.

I’ve stitched heart pillows before—it’s about as complex a sewing project as I can handle—complete with two curves and a pointy end. (Ooh! Ahh!) But it has been awhile since I’ve sewn—I couldn’t find the correct sewing foot and I had some bobbin case problems. Once I got the machine started, I was thrilled. I sewed like there was no tomorrow—with such enthusiasm. Around the time it was too late to recover from my sewing faux pas, I realized I should have left the opening for the pillow in a more discrete spot—not toward the top of the pillow. After all, my machine sewing skills are limited—you can imagine my hand sewing skills.

But I was confident I could do it. I stuffed the pillow with poly-fil and by the time I was ready to sew the opening shut, the fabric was rather frayed. Was I afraid? Nah, I can work with what I have. And I did. When I looked at my finished pillow, it looked very sad… and deformed. It was a horribly, sad and deformed pillow. I hung my head in shame. It started out cute in my mind. Now what?

Then I had a GREAT idea! It’s time to add some embellishment. It will conceal my less than perfectly formed heart. I rummaged through our very extensive array of trim and ribbons and found this delightful trim with pom-poms.

I attached the trim and am pleased with the results. I also made a small bow by combining two trims. The button was the perfect addition. Now excited (and proud!) I decided to add the heart shaped charm for the finishing touch.

The lesson in this blog—part of the creative process is finding ways to solve unexpected mishaps. Don’t throw away your creation or quit just because it didn’t turn out as impeccable or flawlessly as you had imagined. See the mistakes as opportunities. I’m glad I did. I have a pretty heart pillow!

Here’s your assignment this week:

Finding creative solutions to mistakes isn’t limited to machine embroidery! Tell us about a time you had to solve a problem and the end result turned out better than expected. Maybe while sewing…cooking…baking or ? We want to know! One random comment will be chosen as the winner of a $25 gift certificate to website. Someone will get paid for making a mistake and recovering from it! Not a bad deal!


The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Stitchers… has this ever happened to you? Were you able to save your project? Post a comment and share your story. You’re in good company! One comment will be chosen to receive a Bird’s Nest Tool Kit!


And the winner is…Claudia H. “Thru the yrs I have come up with my own “birds nest kit” but didnt market it. T G Eileen has!

I was embroidering on a heavy bath towel when the design got distorted because the towel end slipped off the table on PR 600II and wt of towel caused the distortion. Of course I had left to do something for hubby! Since it was for my 18 month old grandson, I was able to cut off the 6 inches of the width of the towel and sew the border back to remaining towel! His towel is just a bit shorter than big brothers!”

Multi-Needle Monday | Text Editing on the Multi-Needle Machine

Want to add a bit more interest to some of your purchased designs? Then follow this simple tutorial on curving text right at the machine. You can apply this technique to many embroidery projects.

Retrieve your embroidery design, this whisk is a popular design from Embroidery Library.  Once on the screen, touch Rotate. CT2a

Rotate the design 90 degrees to make it easier to edit the upcoming text. CT3

Touch Close and then Add. CT4

Touch the AA key to access the built-in fonts and then select the font of your choice. CT5

The default screen is upper case, large letters.  We are going to spell the word Bake so touch the letter B. CT6

Touch the lower case tab, and touch a, k, e. Touch Set. CT7

Use the jog keys to move the word above the whisk. CT9

Touch Array. CT10

Select the convex icon to curve the text into a smile. CT11

You can use the curving icons to adjust the spacing. CT12

That was easy!  Think of the possibilities you can have with this editing feature.

March Monogram of the Month


Now that I live in Texas, St. Patrick’s Day passes by without much fanfare but that’s not the case in other parts of the country. In Chicago, they dye the river green!  In New York City, they host the USA’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and on Savannah, GA’s official St. Patrick’s Day parade website, they countdown the days, hours and minutes until their annual parade time. 

As an embroiderer you can celebrate the upcoming Celtic celebration in a subtle way by adding a  petite shamrock to your monogram.  Think of it as a nod to your heritage or just an expression of Spring cheer.  If you do, include a couple of shades of green to add emphasis to the Celtic accent. I made this monogram in Bernina Artista Software. Here’s how.

Open BERNINA Embroidery Software DesignerPlus. Select the Monogram icon and click on the Borders tab at the top of the menu.  B1

Select MB4. B1a

Click on Add to add another border. B2

Insert .25 (inches) in the Offset box.  Select Candlewicking from the Outline menu. Click Ok.  B3

Click on Lettering in the Monogramming box. Select a font and type the letters in each box. B4

Merge the Shamrock design into the monogram.  B5

Save the design and send it to your machine. Hoop tear-away stabilizer with linen in a 4” x 4” hoop and stitch the design.

I’d like to share a little Celtic cheer with you so feel free to download the shamrock.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Do you have a favorite accent that you like to add to a monogram? Maybe a pineapple, pine cone, seashell or something along those lines? One comment will be chosen to receive a gift certificate to the DIME store for $25!



The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Baby Lock

If you could have any Baby Lock machine, which one would you want to own? Post your comments for a chance to win a very generous prize courtesy of Baby Lock! One random winner will be chosen to win The Embroidery Essentials Kit, a $385 value!

The winner is… Jeannie G.  “I would love to have a long arm quilter” – Congratulations Jeannie!

Stitching Lettering on Fur

Stockings-1I know thousands of embroidery machines will be humming right up until December 24th. So here’s how to handle tricky faux fur – a favorite last minute gift item.

Scroll lettering has a tendency to disappear when stitched on faux fur.  Here’s how I tackle that problem.

I used Floriani Total Control Pro to create the lettering but the steps will be same in any digitizing program. Right click on the text.  Select Create Outline from the drop down menu. Fur1

The default setting is .08” outside of the lettering. Click OK. Fur2

An outline appears around the word. Fur3

Select the outline and right click. Select Convert To Complex Fill.  Fur4

Change the Density to 2.0 and leave the stitch length at 4.0mm. Fur5

Select the Shape Tool.

Click on the fill. Move the direction of the stitches by selecting the black circle. Fur6

Drag it to the right. Fur7

Use the Select Tool to select, copy and paste the complex Fill. Fur8

Select only the second fill and change the direction of the stitches so they are at an opposing angle to the first set. In Properties, remove all underlay.  Fur9

Change the sequence of the colors so that the fill is the first color and the lettering is second. Hoop the fur and stitch color 1 in the same color as the fur since you want the fill stitches to blend into the fur. Fur10

You’re probably wondering what to do if you don’t have software.  Here’s a tip I learned from one of my smart students, Peggy Schroeder. Peggy uses it on terrycloth all of the time. Use tulle to mimic the fill stitches. Just place matching tulle (same color as the fur) over the fur. Stitch the lettering and then rip the tulle away from the text. This works pretty well as it holds the fur down under the lettering. Once the tulle is torn away though, some of the fur surrounding the text may creep over the text.  If that happens, just trim away the excess fibers around the lettering so it doesn’t obstruct the lettering.

Hope this information helps you tackle those tricky fibers!

Happy Holidays.

Holiday Linen Update 2


It sounds like the blog favorite font of last week’s picks is font C. I agree it’s a beautiful font – very fluid, traditional and yet, warm and inviting. Let me show what I’ve done with it. The font, Cursive is a built-in font in Floriani Total Control Pro digitizing software. If you don’t have this software, I’m sure you can accomplish the same results in your lettering or digitizing program.

Click on the Text tool and type Merry into the dialog box. Select the Cursive font from the pull down menu. Place 1.00 in the Height box. Click on Apply.


The word appears on the screen.


Pull on the green circle at the center top.


Then push on the green circle at the center bottom.


Merry will now be arched. I know there is a way to do this automatically in the software but I feel like I have more control over the finished effect doing it in this 2-step method.

Reduce the spacing between the letters by selecting the blue diamond (just left of the letter) on the portion of the word you want to move. Notice how all of the letters to the right of the e are selected and moving to the left.


You can move individual letters by selecting the black diamond in the center of the letter.

Now, let’s dress it up a bit. Go to File, Merge and select a holiday design from your design library. I’m using the bell design from Stipple! Jingle Bells. If you’re using the bell design, delete the first color, the stipple stitches.


Now, add Christmas by selecting the Text tool and typing Christmas in the dialog box. This time, pull down the green circle at the bottom center and pull the green circle at the center top to arc the word.


Let’s add a little sparkle with embroidered stars. These small designs – or symbols as Floriani calls them – are like sprinkles. Drop a four or five around the bell to fill the space. Change the thread color of the text to red to preview your design in actual colors.


Hoop a linen or cotton towel with tear-away stabilizer and stitch the design adding applique fabrics if your design calls for it. Make two, three or a dozen – they are great gifts and take just 15 minutes to stitch.


Here’s your assignment this week:

Thanks for the help with my holiday linen update! Leave a question below that you’d like me to answer. I’ll answer one random question and award an open flat stocking you can personalize this holiday season. Good luck!

The winner of last week’s assignment:

Leave a comment below about which font is your favorite from above, choose A, B, C, or D and if you have a favorite color scheme. One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 coupon code to use at Hoop Sisters!


The winner is Rory D, with the suggestion”Boy, they’re all great but my favorite is “C”. It’s cheery and would look great in country colors of dark green and a deep red or burgundy..”

Holiday Linen Update


I’m working on some new holiday kitchen towels. After all these years of using the same holiday linens, I think it’s time for an update. Here’s a look at some of the lettering I’ve been working on in software. This week, I plan to gather my materials, test the designs and then finish by Monday. But I’d love to have a little assistance from you.

I want to know what font pictured below is your favorite (Chose A, B, C or D) and what color scheme do you prefer? Traditional red and green? Gold and silver? Refashioned vintage aqua and red? Blue and silver? If you have another favorite combo, please share!





I’m planning on making a set similar to the vintage elegant towels I did a year ago for my niece. This time around, I’m using holiday designs, fabrics and threads.


But if you know me, my favorite part is gathering the ribbons and fabrics. Here’s a look at materials I used for the days of the week towels.



It’s fun to weed through my stash and find long lost holiday novelty fabric. I don’t buy those types of fabrics too often but when I do, I hold onto them. They always come in handy at this time of year.  I’ll be looking for colorful prints with small to medium size motifs. Since the ruffles are only 4” wide, you won’t see a lot of the print.  Same goes with the ribbons.

So let me know what direction to take! I can’t wait to get stitching.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Leave a comment below about which font is your favorite from above, choose A, B, C, or D and if you have a favorite color scheme. One comment will be chosen to receive a $25 coupon code to use at Hoop Sisters!


The winner of last week’s assignment:

It’s time to take a look at your design collection!  Tell us what embroidery design theme you seem to collect the most. Do you favor flowers, birds, quilt blocks, redwork, fruits, vegetables, dogs, cats, monograms, lettering, fish, Christmas, lace, borders, frames, etc.  Post your comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner is Nancy, with her comment:  “I have a lot of heirloom type designs. I love embroidering dainty designs on baby items. Next I have many tiny designs to embroider on my granddaughter’s socks, they are so cute. I also like to embroider the freestanding ornaments to tie to napkin holders during the holidays.”

What’s with Lower Case Monograms?

You see it everywhere today – lower case monograms catch your eye and make you wonder if it really is a monogram. I think its popularity stems from texting. Many young people will tell you uppercase letters are a waste of time. What’s the point of engaging two fingers to type a letter when the same letter can be easily produced with one finger?

But upper case sends a message in monograms. When placed with lower case letters, the upper case letter is dominate and depicts the first initial of a surname. When lower case letters are in a string, they spell something, intentional or not. It’s acceptable and actually quite fun to mix upper and lower case. The mix can add balance and interest to a standard monogram.

Let’s take a look at a couple of monograms I created for my 22 year-old son. First I experimented with a traditional 3-letter monogram in caps.



I played with the positioning of the flanked letters.



Then I changed the first and middle initials to lower case.



And again changed the positioning.



After reviewing these options, I wasn’t quite sold so I changed to all lower case.




I like that one the least. Probably because his first name is a vowel, like mine, and whenever I see a monogram with a vowel as the first letter, I make up a word. My childhood monogram was EW followed by ER. Ugh, I never liked either one. But maybe that doesn’t bother you.

Anyway, back to my son’s monogram. I settled on a stacked monogram: first initial stacked over the middle initial and standing guard next to the upper case R with a polka dot in the center. He likes it (which, let me tell you, is huge!)

Monogram font is Newsprint found in
Machine Embroidered Monograms for the Home

I hope you enjoy the projects and tips and tidbits found on my blog. I like sharing my love for embroidery with you all and as many of you know I also teach classes on the Craftsy website. So, if you like my blog and nominate me for best embroidery blog by clicking on the Craftsy badge to the right or by clicking here you will be entered to win a FREE class over at Craftsy! Thanks for your vote and good luck in the contest.


Here’s your assignment this week:


Letters are your friend! They can turn almost anything from drab to personalized and fab. Comment below about something you’ve been wanting to monogram and one winner will be chosen to receive their very own copy of Machine Embroidered Monograms for the Home! Good luck.

Machine Embroidered Monograms for the Home

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Look around your sewing room and tell us what your most unorganized area is. Don’t be shy! One lucky comment will be chosen to win the latest Stipple! Sassy Cats by Katherine Artines.

Stipple Sassy Cats

And the winner is…“That is really easy, it is me. I have so many things that I want to make and I have a difficult time getting organized long enough to get very much accomplished.” – Marcia Congratulations and thank you to everyone for sharing!

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